• Monday, June 17, 2024
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NEPC urges commercial banks to establish non-oil export desks

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In its effort to transform Nigeria’s economy through increased non-oil export performance, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), a Federal Government agency, created to promote the non-oil sector of the economy, has advised commercial banks in the country to create export desks to help entrepreneurs access funds at single digits to facilitate non-oil exports.

Esther Ikporah, zonal controller, Enugu zonal office of the NEPC, who made this call at a ‘Bankers’ Roundtable,’ organised by the council in Enugu, observed that lack of access to funds was one of the major constraints faced by non-oil exporters in the country.

She encouraged commercial banks to see the non-oil export sector as a viable and robust sector for investment, stressing that the council was aware of the constraints faced by non-oil exporters in accessing funds to service their export orders.

According to her, non-oil exporters go a long way at securing market for their produce, but at the end, lose these markets or orders, due to non-availability of funds to execute these orders, which blacklists exporters from Nigeria in the international business environment, as not being serious.

Read also: Pan-African Capital urges removal of hurdles to trade financing

Ikporah explained that the Enugu zonal office decided to bring the banks and financial institutions to dialogue with the exporters towards addressing the challenges of finance in the pursuit of their exports.

The Bankers’ Roundtable, according to her, is carefully packaged to fill the gap created over the years by over dependence on crude oil exports and tailored for the banks to see the non-oil export sector as a viable and robust sector for investment.

In her words: “The council is poised to change the scenario by soliciting with the banks to create export desks in their banks for our teeming entrepreneurs to be able to access finance at a single digit interest in order to facilitate non-oil exports.

“This event will give economic hope to all exporters in Nigeria on the premise that their efforts at servicing export orders is not attributed to lack of funds to execute such orders hence forth, as we hope that the bankers will see our respected and reliable exporters, as partners in progress and considered as worth doing business with.”

She expressed gratitude to Segun Awolowo, executive director/CEO of NEPC, for his unflinching support and passion to move the non-oil export sector to enviable heights, from just contributing 10 percent to the GDP to 45 percent before the end of 2015, a feat she said was achievable.

GODFREY OFURUM